Letter to the Editor

Know all the information

Sunday, June 12, 2011

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter in response to the letter from Dr. Forrest Buell in (the Monday, June 6, issue of The Brazil Times). It was titled, "Let the public decide."

Everyone knows that, ultimately, our elected officials make the decisions that affect each of us. These officials might work in Washington, D.C., or in Indianapolis, or for Clay Community Schools.

I also strongly agree with Forrest that we, the "public," who elected these folks, have the right and responsibility to let our elected officials know what we think or feel about a subject.

I will go one step farther and say that, in my opinion, each of us has no right whatsoever to grumble or argue with or about what these officials have done -- unless we vote and have personally told these officials our opinions.

Because I have been gone from this country for so long in the past decade, I have not kept up to date with all the things going on in Clay Community Schools. I am very much aware of the problems that exist with the education, in general, or our students in this country. I also know just how dreadfully poorly that the U.S. compares to other "industrialized' countries in the world in terms of education, especially in sciences and mathematics. I am home-schooling my oldest grandson in order to spend much more time with him and to assure that he will learn as much as possible. I do have another grandson who just completed third-grade at Meridian Elementary School in Brazil. I have kept myself appraised of what goes on at that specific school.

Forrest said in his letter that some of our school board members are considering the concept of year-round school. I applaud the board for doing that. I know that this concept will not/cannot completely "fix" our educational problems, but we should consider each and every thing that we can do to make our students be better educated.

I agree that the superintendent and school board members should not make the decision about changing to a year-round schedule without input from "our public and our parents." However, this input should only be allowed or considered if it comes from a person who is educated about the subject and who knows what she/he is talking about.

Yes, there are "many negatives and many positives" that need to be considered. The first thing each of us must know is that changing to a "year-round" schedule does not mean that our students will need to be in the classroom any more days than they are now. It is only a different schedule, not a change in the number of days in the classroom. There are several different patterns that can be considered.

These are discussed or shown as a "Balanced Calendar" to differentiate them from the "Traditional Calendar." Each of these balanced schedules does include a long summer break (from six-eight weeks), a long winter/Christmas break (two weeks) and other appropriate breaks.

I totally support the concept of year-round school. I also happen to feel that the school year should be lengthened. But I am only one person.

To those of you reading this letter and who are interested in the topic, please get educated about the topic. Do not just listen to what others say unless that person is educated about the subject.

Go online on your computer and do a "Google" search using the term "year-round school."

It is very, very easy then to educate yourself. Read a source or two that discusses the "pros and cons" of year-round school. Look at examples of year-round, so-called balanced calendars.

Then you are qualified to let the elected school board members know your own feelings.

Kennard B. Sproul, M.D.,

Clay County